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Base Word vs. Root word (or root)

Posted By: Bigwig Rabbit

Base Word vs. Root word (or root) - 02/13/08 03:25 AM

Among our faculty, there is a casual banter going on about root words Vs. base words. One school of thought is that the two are interchangeable terms. The other group adamantly contends that a base word is one that can stand alone, while a root is a word part that needs some sort of inflectional ending, prefix, suffix, or combination of those in order to be sensible. My thought is that some roots can stand alone, such as flex, while many other roots cannot (like glo as in conglomerate). Is there any consensus here that can lay to rest this most scholarly and magmanimous dispute?
Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu

Re: Base Word vs. Root word (or root) - 02/13/08 03:53 AM

hmm, I can't glom on to the idea that they're not synonyms. though I suppose someone can draw that distinction.
Posted By: zmjezhd

Re: Base Word vs. Root word (or root) - 02/13/08 12:10 PM

In describing inflected languages, like Latin, Greek, or Sanskrit, a distinction between affixes (pre-, in-, and suffixes) and desinences (grammatical endings) is usually made. The former are usually called derivational morphemes (they change the meaning), and the latter inflectional (they indicate the syntactic relationships between words in a phrase). In the study of morphology, there is a difference between free and bound morphemes: free ones can stand on their own, but bound ones are usually affixes, though some like the rasp in raspberry are not. The problem may be with less inflected languages, like English or Chinese. There a lexeme (aka lexical item, word) like man consists of a single morpheme, though come to think of it the Latin nominative singular vir 'man' has no explicit nominitival desinence, as rosa (i.e., the -a) does). Distinguishing between roots (single morphemes) and bases (root morpheme plus one or more affixes, or compounds) seems like a goodly distinction, though perhaps overkill for English morphology.

[Addendum: More on roots and stems.]
Posted By: BranShea

Re: Base Word vs. Root word (or root) - 02/13/08 12:40 PM

Does not base have a double meaning?

1. Serving as or forming a base; "the painter applied a base coat followed by two finishing coats".
3. Of low birth or station (`base' is archaic in this sense); "baseborn wretches with dirty faces"; "of humble (or lowly)
(among other definitions)

While root, even used in a figurative way is so much to the point .
Posted By: zmjezhd

Re: Base Word vs. Root word (or root) - 02/13/08 01:35 PM

Roots are also base, being all covered in dirt and such. Latin radix, radicis, (whence English radish and radical), Greek ριζα (rhiza), and German Wurzel are all cognate: from PIE *wrād- 'root' (also here).
Posted By: BranShea

Re: Base Word vs. Root word (or root) - 02/13/08 07:03 PM

Yes, I know my roots: radijsjes en wortelen. I know my base too.
Posted By: zmjezhd

Re: Base Word vs. Root word (or root) - 02/13/08 07:18 PM

I know my base too.

All your base are belong to us.
Posted By: Bigwig Rabbit

Re: Base Word vs. Root word (or root) - 02/13/08 11:46 PM

zmjezhd,
Though I had to read your post 4 times to understand it, I declare it the most helpful. The links were quite useful as well. Now I can return to my small pond and be the big fish, dazzling them with my brilliance (as opposed to baffling them).
Posted By: zmjezhd

Re: ein grundriss der ichsucht - 02/14/08 12:58 AM

Now I can return to my small pond and be the big fish, dazzling them with my brilliance (as opposed to baffling them).

Thank you. Being a big fish, as well as a lapine bigwig, is a goodlier thing than being a lophalgiac, paleocopric pedant as I.
Posted By: Zed

Re: ein grundriss der ichsucht - 02/14/08 02:27 AM

Awww. but you're such a cute lophalgiac, paleocopric pedant.
Posted By: tsuwm

Re: ein grundriss der ichsucht - 02/14/08 03:27 AM

>lophalgiac, paleocopric

got to be coinage of the week (at least).

-joe (OF) friday
Posted By: Bigwig Rabbit

Re: ein grundriss der ichsucht - 02/15/08 01:08 AM

Mr. Webster was hardly a help. Paleocopric is an awesome word though. I will begin using it immediately. "That gangrenous, paleocopric troglodyte ought to stop calling me at the hour of my repast."
Posted By: zmjezhd

Re: Dia is Muire dhuit - 02/15/08 03:04 AM

BW, if you liked paleocopric, you should love isopaleocopria, which a colleague of mine coined at work.

As Old Doc Brown might've said: "Dictionaries‽ Where we're going, we don't need dictionaries!"
Posted By: Bigwig Rabbit

Re: Dia is Muire dhuit - 02/15/08 03:57 AM

isopaleocopria the epitome of diversity.
Posted By: BranShea

Re: Dia is Muire dhuit - 02/15/08 06:58 AM

I guess that's why I always misread your name as Bigwit.
Posted By: BRIAN500

Re: ein grundriss der ichsucht - 03/31/10 09:50 AM

fdfgfdgfd
Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu

Re: ein grundriss der ichsucht - 03/31/10 11:44 AM

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